Australia

Angry birds take aim at Australian newlyweds

Phillip and Sara Maria pose, appearing unaware of the bird aiming for their head Image copyright Karen Parr
Image caption Newlyweds Phillip and Sara Maria were among hundreds of people attacked by magpies during "swooping season" every year

At first glance, it is the perfect image of newlywed bliss: the husband and wife pressing their heads together, enjoying a moment of idyllic calm.

Then you spot the magpie, its beak aiming for their heads with laser-like precision.

However, this is not a scene from classic horror film The Birds, but the wedding of Phillip and Sara Maria in New South Wales, Australia, who just happened to annoy some very angry birds with their choice of picture location.

Photographer Karen Parr revealed how two magpies "working as a team" began swooping on the group as soon as they got out the car following the ceremony on 8 October.

But because they had driven for half an hour to reach this particularly picturesque spot, there was nothing the bridal party could do but carry on - despite the danger.

With a groomsman yelling warnings every time the magpies took aim, the shoot began.

Image copyright Karen Parr
Image caption The couple took it in their stride, and Phillip even made the amazing shot his Facebook profile picture

"I think we probably got swooped about 20 times. It was quite scary at the time. We were cursing the birds," Ms Parr recalled.

Luckily, the new Mr and Mrs Maria were quite calm about the situation.

"She was an amazing bride. They just rolled with it."

But the photographer, who has been taking wedding pictures for nine years, admitted she probably was not quite as relaxed.

"He went for me a few times. I probably screamed a little bit loud," she said.

Despite the almost constant onslaught, Ms Parr only managed to capture the bird in perfect action on one occasion - and these pictures are the result.

"The groom in particular was quite chuffed with it - he made it his Facebook profile picture straight away," she said.

Australian magpies are known to attack people during August and September - a period of time nicknamed "swooping season" - while their chicks are in the nest.

Last year, there were 801 attacks in New South Wales alone, according to Daily Mail Australia.

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